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On finishing my PhD with a baby and the things that helped

When I started my PhD in 2013 I envisioned the finish line to be in 3 years’ time. I would submit my printed copies to the graduate research office, get my balloon, and have my partner take a photo of me. Then we would go out for a celebratory dinner with friends and consume much celebratory wine.
Four and a half years later I submitted online, at home, and in my pyjamas. And then my partner, toddler and I had a celebratory dance party in the living room (pictured above). I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
About a month before I submitted I was yet again trapped in a dark room waiting for my little one to fall asleep when it struck me just how close I was to it all being over. And just how hard it had been to get there.
With my son’s warm hand wrapped around mine, I thought of how I had worked with my laptop on the ironing board while rocking him to sleep in the carrier, read papers while holding him as he slept and/or fed, worked most nights even when I was desperate for sleep (…

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